Medina hospital hosts breakfast with Santa

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 7 December 2019 at 11:48 am

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Liam McGill, 5, sits on Santa’s lap at Breakfast with Santa Saturday morning at Medina Memorial Hospital. He came with his aunt, Caroline Way of Medina. Liam is hoping for an Xbox and a gift card from Walmart.

MEDINA – Medina Memorial Hospital rolled out the red carpet for Santa Claus this morning during their fifth annual Breakfast with Santa.

The event annually attracts up to 170 children, said Cindy Perry, director of outreach, education and marketing for the hospital’s Community Partners.

“We do this so kids can become familiar with the hospital in a non-threatening way,” Perry said. “It’s like the Teddy Bear Clinic we do several times a year. All the Orleans County schools come, and this year Elba came for the first time. Like that event, this one has a lot of hospital staff and students who volunteer.”

Rebecca Mannella, left, and Christine Walczak pose with Mrs. Claus (Valerie Rush) at Medina Memorial Hospital’s Breakfast with Santa Saturday morning.

Early Saturday morning, Jessica Downey, health educator with Community Partners, laid out stickers on the hallways directing children to Santa Claus, a craft table manned by GCASA volunteers where children made reindeer antler glasses, a cookie decorating station and breakfast in the cafeteria.

After greeting Santa and getting a free gift and candy cane, children were greeting by Mrs. Claus, who handed out Christmas stickers.

The gift this year was a snowman, in honor of 3-year-old Leon Sidari, who loved snowmen and died two years ago on Christmas Day from the flu.

There was also a mail box and table where children could write a letter to Santa.

Tammy Pritchard, left, administrative assistant at Medina Memorial Hospital, and Jessica Downey, health educator, are ready to welcome children to the fifth annual Breakfast with Santa Saturday morning at the hospital.

Parents received a tote bag filled with information on the flu, lead poisoning and hospital services, along with crayons which children could use to color the picture on the front of the tote bag.

Dan Capurso of Albion said this was the third year he had brought his daughter, Esmae, 5.

“We love this event,” he said. “It has become a Christmas tradition.”

April Walls of Albion said this was the first time she had brought her children, Owen Pelzer, 3, and Payton Babcock, 8.

“They just love it,” Walls said. “They are having such a good time.”

Amanda Luckman loved that the event was for children of all ages. She and Tyler Fending of Lyndonville brought their children Madilinn, 6, and Daniel, 3.

“We come every year,” Luckman said. “Daniel hasn’t sat on Santa’s lap yet without crying. We’re hoping it will be different this year.”

Madilinn Fending, 6, of Lyndonville and her brother Daniel, 3, enjoy breakfast during Medina Memorial Hospital’s Breakfast with Santa Saturday morning.

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